genographic project

In 2005 National Geographic teamed up with IBM “to use cutting-edge genetic and computational technologies to analyze historical patterns in DNA from participants around the world to better understand our human genetic roots”.  Our species is African, where we first evolved.  The earliest human fossils were from Ethopia and date back 200,000 years.  When humans departed Africa over 60,000 years ago, they left genetic footprints. The Genographic Project maps the appearance and frequency of genetic markers in modern humans and creates a picture of where ancient humans moved around the world. Where did your ancestors travel and how did you get where you are today?

This project gathers and analyzes research data with the help of indigenous and traditional populations from around the world. They invite the general public to join the project and learn about their own ancestry by purchasing and completing a Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit, the Geno 2.0. They use a portion of the proceeds from Geno 2.0 kit sales to do further research, and also to support community-led indigenous conservation and revitalization projects.

The Geno 2.0 test kit examines almost 150,000 DNA markers that provide ancestry-relevant information.  Participants will learn fascinating things about their own ancestry.  It entails a quick and painless cheek swab.  The research team analyzes and identifies thousands of genetic markers that have been passed down in each individual’s ancestry from mother to child to determine the maternal ancestry.  For men, the Y chromosome markers are examined to determine the paternal ancestry.  For all participants, over 130,000 additional DNA markers are analyzed to determine the regional aspects of each individual’s ancestry.

What do you get for participating?

  • You will learn the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed.
  • You’ll find out what percentage of your genome is from which specific region of the world. That’s really interesting!
  • You will learn if you have Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestry.
  • The Genographic Project gives you the opportunity to connect with other participants, share your story and help the researchers ‘fill in the gaps in the human story’.

If you are interested in your own story, purchase a kit and get started! $189.95 each.

Note:  See the ASE article on 23andme, another genetic testing service.  The FDA currently prevents them from giving indicators of tendencies toward heath issues, but they give interesting genetic information.